Interior Design Trends to Look Out for in 2021

Stephanie Rogers

When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2021, our lives aren’t going to magically go back to pre-pandemic “normal.” We’ll still be spending a lot more time at home than usual and seeking to make our private spaces cozier and more comfortable than ever. More so than any celebrity designers or magazines, that drive to fluff our nests and get through what could be a challenging winter will influence next year’s design trends.

Focus on Home Offices

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Many big companies are allowing employees who can work from home to do so permanently — or at least for the foreseeable future. That means home offices have gained a new importance, and whatever makeshift situations people have been using thus far will likely be transformed into more stylish and functional spaces.

Most people renovating their new work-from-home spaces are aiming for good organization and a sense of zen. That might mean creating a cozy nook in your bedroom or living room with a good Zoom background, a laptop desk and a comfortable chair, or it might mean ditching the guest room furniture to build a dedicated space offering separation from children, pets, and other distractions.

Grandmillennial Style

Image via Instagram

Have you heard the term “Grandmillennial” yet? One of the biggest breakout styles of 2020 will rise in prominence next year, boosted by a millennial backlash against minimalism, a practical and environmentally friendly desire to reuse older objects, and a rosy nostalgia similar to that of Gen Z’s beloved “cottagecore.”

Decor that was recently derided as being “too grandma” is now cool, including frilly linens, wallpaper, crystal chandeliers, and all manner of tchotchkes. Essentially, it’s a return to traditionalism, but you’ll most likely see it mixed in with more modern and simplified decor to keep it from overwhelming a space.

Deep, Dark Blues

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When Pantone announced “Classic Blue” as 2020’s Color of the Year, not everyone was enthused. But it seems we’re all leaning into blue after all, perhaps to soothe our frazzled nerves. We may not have known it back in January, but this calming shade is just what we needed in the face of… well… everything that’s happened this year. Darker shades like navy and indigo and colors that lean a little more green for an oceanic effect will continue making our spaces feel more tranquil well into 2021.

Earthy and Organic Influences

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Yes, organic influences have been in style for a few years now, but you should expect to see that trend continuing to grow and evolve next year. Natural materials with strong textural or patterned characteristics, like coarser linen, jute, woven rattan, and wood with more prominent grain are a beautiful counterbalance to strong colors, metallics, glossy minimalist surfaces. and the kind of blemish-free Scandinavian plywood look designers continue to favor.

Dried Florals and Plants

A stylish dried flower bouquet from retailer Anthropologie.
A stylish dried flower bouquet from retailer Anthropologie.

Image via Anthropologie

If you love tending to living plants, great: in terms of popularity, they’re not going anywhere. But if you have less time and energy to devote to such tasks, dried florals and plants are a great alternative. Reflecting their growing popularity, retailers like Pottery Barn and Anthropologie are starting to offer dried bouquets and elements you can mix-and-match, like pampas grass, willow branches, eucalyptus, and even pretty grains like oats.

High-Quality Bedding

Ultra-soft
Ultra-soft

Image via Ettitude

It’s time to invest in your nest, even if you’re the kind of person who never grew out of buying Target’s ultra-cheap dorm room bedding. If you indulge in just one luxury this year, make it your bed. You deserve it. Lots of small brands offering high-quality bedding in sumptuous natural fabrics have popped up in recent years, making these products more accessible than ever. Check out Ettitude’s outrageously soft “vegan silk” bamboo sheets, Parachute’s light and airy linen duvet covers and pillowcases in a lovely range of shades, Brooklinen’s luxe sateen cotton bedding, or West Elm’s lush cotton velvets.